FM workers are more likely than others to blame colleagues for spreading illness, and also tend to take cleaning into their own hands to maintain hygiene levels according to a report commissioned by London-based cleaning firm Cleanology, reports Tomorrow’s Cleaning.
It looked into behaviour around illness and work, and attitudes towards workplace hygiene. It found 80 per cent of FM workers believe sick colleagues are responsible for passing on germs, compared to 66 per cent of employees in other sectors. FM staff also appear to be more hygiene-conscious than their counterparts in other industries, with just over half being likely to carry sanitising spray at work - 16 per cent more than across wider industry.
The survey found that, compared with a year ago, almost two-thirds of workers feel under more pressure to go to work when they are ill, even though it impedes their productivity. The survey was conducted by Sapio Research, which questioned 1,056 respondents. Of those, 51 were facilities managers.
Gender differences were highlighted, with one third of men taking sick days, compared with just under a quarter of women. Men are also more likely to work from home when they are sick. But the odds are not all stacked in favour of men - 25 per cent of male workers reported having to take matters into their own hands by cleaning the workplace toilet, compared with just 17 per cent of women! Dominic Ponniah, CEO at Cleanology said the research showed an interesting perspective on cleanliness and ways in which pressure to attend, even when ill, has an impact on effective working.
He said, "Our findings raise important questions about standard work practices and whether businesses would benefit from encouraging people to work from home. More than half of those surveyed had caught a cold from a colleague, while 62 agreed they are not able to work to the best of their abilities when they are sick. Respondents felt guilty for coming to work coughing and sneezing, and 57 per cent of F Ms felt that they were likely to make mistakes.
"While only a quarter of people blamed a dirty workplace for catching an illness, two out of fiv e carry cleaning wipes. For us, as cleaners, this is a telling insight into the standard of cleaning in many workplaces. For employers and FMs, it must also raise questions about the link between cleanliness in the workplace and productivity."